Allardyce: It’s so disappointing to concede from a set-piece

Hammers boss in no mood to celebrate birthday

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce was in no mood to celebrate his birthday following his side’s 1-0 defeat at Southampton on Tuesday night.

The Hammers boss turned 57 yesterday (Wednesday), but instead of getting a present for Allardyce, the West Ham players gifted the Saints three points instead.

And the hosts’ goal came from a set-piece, which angered Allardyce further.

“We conceded the softest of goals from our point of view,” he said.

“Especially when we practice so much in defending set-plays.

“We are arguably one of the biggest sides in the league and our big men who can head the ball well, couldn’t head a ball out to stop us going 1-0 down.

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“It is even more disappointing when you lose off a set play.”

Once Southampton took the lead, the Hammers struggled to create many clear-cut chances of their own, something that frustrated Allardyce.

“The disappointing thing for me was that we were clinical on Saturday, but we were woefully short of being clinical today in terms of taking our chances,” he said.

Allardyce did concede that his side were outplayed in the first half though, by a Southampton side that had won their last 16 games at home prior to Tuesday night’s game.

“We knew it would be a difficult game and it was as they have the best home record in the league,” he said.

“They were a good side and we weren’t in the first half playing to the level we should have done.”

However, the Hammers boss also thought that his side deserved to get something out of the game, based on their performance after the break.

“On the second half performance yeah, but unfortunately our sharp-shooting goalscorers who were magnificent on Saturday didn’t find their shooting boots or their heading ability to score goals today and we ended up with a 1-0 defeat,” he said.

“At least I can say we came out and showed something about what we are really like in the second half.

“We didn’t really do anything in terms of what we are all about away from home in the first half.

“The second half we was a bit more creative and made a few more chances, but we couldn’t find the back of the net. So perhaps it wasn’t our day.”

The narrow defeat also meant that West Ham lost their unbeaten away record, that had stretched to seven games.

“It is a big disappointment to lose to Southampton, to lose our away record and find that we wake up and they are five points clear of us, rather, on the balance of play, we should have gone home still being only two points behind them,” added Allardyce.

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